“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Soda Springs in Caribou County, Idaho — The American West (Mountains)

Hudspeth Cutoff

Hudspeth Cutoff Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 22, 2017
1. Hudspeth Cutoff Marker
Captions: (top right) 1846 topographic map illustrating Bear River, various hot springs, and Emigrant Road to Fort Hall and the Columbia River. By 1849 the Hudspeth Cutoff provided an alternative route.;
Inscription. Native Americans traveled and camped in the Soda Springs area for centuries before emigrants traveled the Oregon Trail.
Sheep Rock (Soda Point) marked the junction of the main route of the Oregon-California Trail and the Hudspeth Cutoff and was often mentioned in emigrant diaries. The Hudspeth Cutoff diverged 3/4 mile west of here, striking west across the lava-covered valley. Its route passed over Fish Creek divide and the Portneuf Range south of Lava Hot Springs. Its western terminus was the City of Rocks, where it rejoined the California Trail. From Sheep Rock, the main branch of the Oregon-California Trail headed northwest toward Fort Hall.
On July 19, 1849, Benoni Morgan Hudspeth, captain of a wagon train with 70 wagons and 250 people, led his group west along what was to become the Hudspeth Cutoff. With John Meyers as guide, they opened a new wagon route to California shortening the northern and more established route north to Fort Hall. Hudspeth and Meyers has scouted the area prior to crossing. Hudspeth was familiar with the area since he had been with John C. Fremont on his 1843 expedition to the Great Salt Lake area.
Departing from the established road, they proceeded due west over the mountains rather than around them. This new 132-mile route jointed the California Train to the west of the Raft River. Spurred
Hudspeth Cutoff Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 22, 2017
2. Hudspeth Cutoff Marker
This marker is on the right.
by the Gold Rush of 1849, afterward most California-bound traffic went over the cutoff due to abundance of forage for their animals.

"Four miles from Steamboat Springs we came to old crater Alexander Crater and the junction of the Fort Hall road and Hudspethw's Cutoff. At this point, Bear River which has run nearly north for 150 miles or more bends, short around the mountain and runs back nearly parallel with its former course. The Fort Hall road runs to the right and runs along under the bluff, and Hudspeth's Cutoff continues nearly straight ahead towards the opposite mountains." -- Lorenzo Sawyer, 1849
Erected by Idaho Department of Transportation.
Marker series. This marker is included in the California Trail, and the Oregon Trail marker series.
Location. 42° 38.861′ N, 111° 42.111′ W. Marker is near Soda Springs, Idaho, in Caribou County. Marker is on Soda Point Power Plant Road near Reservoir Road, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1599 Soda Point Power Plant Road, Soda Springs ID 83276, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Trails, Rails and Highways (here, next to this marker); Idaho's Emigrant Trails (here, next to this marker);
Oregon Trail Kiosk near Sheep Rock image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 22, 2017
3. Oregon Trail Kiosk near Sheep Rock
Sheep Rock Geology (here, next to this marker); Fort Hall (here, next to this marker); The Value Of A Shortcut (a few steps from this marker); Guiding Landmark... (a few steps from this marker); Horatio's Journey (a few steps from this marker); William Henry Harrison (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Soda Springs.
More about this marker. There are five markers inside this kiosk located on the Oregon Trail near Sheep Rock (Soda Point).
Categories. Roads & VehiclesSettlements & Settlers
Credits. This page was last revised on September 28, 2018. This page originally submitted on August 11, 2017, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 152 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 11, 2017, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.
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